The Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, says her vision to achieve “Justice without barriers” in Ghana requires urgent Judicial Reforms in order to make it a reality.
One of such reforms, she said, is the solarization of courts across the country.
In a keynote address at a ceremony to inaugurate the first ever solar-powered electricity system at the Winneba High Court in the Central Region, the Chief Justice said tools of technology ought to be employed to facilitate the smooth and efficient delivery of Justice in Ghana.
“Solar Energy is one of such tools of technology and it is the reason why the Judiciary has taken the first step,” she said disclosing that over the next five years, the judicial service will embark on an extensive programme to solarize all 375 courts nationwide.
Member of Parliament for Effutu Constituency, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, expressed gratitude to the Chief Justice for commencing the nationwide project in his constituency.
Noting that the constituency has a District and High court, he pleaded with the Chief Justice to set up a Circuit Court there to fix the missing link, where police have to travel to Swedru to adjudicate matters that are required by law to go before a Circuit Court.
Responding to the legislator’s request, the Chief Justice pledged to establish Circuit Court in the constituency.
The Judicial Service in collaboration with the Australian High Commission agreed in February this year to conduct a pilot project selecting three courts for the installation of solar powered energy systems. At the cost of 39,000 Australian Dollars (GHc 133,000.00), the Winneba High Court is the first of the pilot project. Weija Circuit and District Court as well as the Sege District Court are the other courts identified for the installation of solar powered systems. The installation of the 22.26wp (Watt Peak) PV Plant was undertaken by Wilkins Engineering and executed in a matter of eight days.
Expressing his government’s desire to digitize the Ghanaian judicial system, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, H. E. Andrew Barnes, assured that the High Commission will continue in the partnership to ensure that all Courts earmarked to be solarized are executed.